Expert

Sarah Burns

Expertise

War Powers, Grand Strategy

Programs

Democratizing Foreign Policy

202.279.0005

Bio

Sarah Burns is a non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute and an Associate Professor of Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her research examines the process of constitutional design in the United States using Montesquieu’s understanding of the separation of powers to develop a model for salutary institutions. She demonstrates how the branches have evolved to forgo the struggle created by the Montesquieuan system, allowing the executive branch to assert broad unilaterally powers, instead. She has written on war powers, American foreign policy, democratic peace theory, elections, and Montesquieu’s constitutionalism. In her book, The Politics of War Powers, she demonstrates how the Constitution purposely locks the president and legislature in a battle for control over military affairs. As this has broken down over time, the United States increasingly produces and executes reactive policy untethered to grand strategy. Her current book project examines American efforts to democratize other states due to a longstanding adherence to the concept of Democratic Peace Theory.